The Lord
Of Excess

Neverland

Nocturnal
Pleasures

NEVERLAND

by Jim Steinman

Part Two

Phase V: The Declaration of Devotion. She is one of the pack.

HEAVEN CAN WAIT

Wendy:
Heaven can wait,
And a band of angels wrapped up in my heart
Will take me through the lonely night,
Through the cold of the day.
And I know, I know,
Heaven can wait,
And all the gods come down here just to sing for me.
And the melody's gonnaí make be fly.
Without pain, without fear.

Give me all of your dreams
And let me go alone and away.
Give me all of your prayers to sing
And I'll turn the night into the skylight of day.
I got a taste of paradise.
I'm never gonnaí let it slip away.
I got a taste of paradise.
It's all I really need to make me stay.
Just like a child again.

Heaven can wait,
And all I got is time until the end of time.
I won't look back,
I won't look back.
Let the altar shine.

Historian: And now ... the vows of love and union. I do hope itís more than just mere infatuation.

Wendy: On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

Baal: Will she offer me her mouth?

Wendy: Yes.

Baal: Will she offer me her teeth?

Wendy: Yes.

Baal: Will she offer me her jaws?

Wendy: Yes.

Baal: Will she offer me her hunger?

Wendy: Yes.

Baal: And will she starve without me?

Wendy: Yes.

Baal: And does she love me?

Wendy: Yes.

Baal: Yes.

Wendy: Will he offer me his hunger?

Baal: Yes.

Wendy: And will he starve without me?

Baal: Yes.

Wendy: And does he love me?

Baal: Yes.

Wendy: Yes.

Historian: On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses, Ďtill death do you part?

Baal and Wendy: Yes.

Wendy: Weíve only just begun.

Historian: [laughs]

Wendy:
And I know that I've been released,
But I don't know to where.
Nobody's gonna tell me now,
And I don't really care.
No, no, no.
I got a taste of paradise.
That's all I really need to make me stay.
I got a taste of paradise.
If I had it any sooner you know,
You know I never would have run away from my home.

Heaven can wait.
Oh, heaven can wait.
I won't look back,
I won't look back.
Let the altar shine.
Let the altar shine.

Tink: Get rid of her now! It's gone too far, she means too much to you! We don't need her anymore! We never needed her! We're finished with her! Get rid of her!

Baal: Shut him up!

Tink: I'll find her parents! I'll bring them here!

Baal: No!

Tink: They'll take her back!

Wendy: Well, what are you waiting for? What are you waiting for? Go ahead, hunt him!

The pack: Hunt him!

Historian: Phase VI: The Hunt! As if you couldn't guess, into the black forest!

[instrumental]

Baal: I was there on the freeway, looking in the dead cars for food. I didn't find any. There were some bones, but no food. I want to sleep in the hulk of a big, black car.

Wendy: A limousine?

Baal: It's just a black hulk. Nothing left but the dead metal. A carcass, an old corroded carcass.

Tink: There's always bones down on the freeway. There's always bones in the dead cars, but there's never any food.

Wendy: A hearse. Maybe a hearse. A hearse is black.

Baal: Just a hulk. I started touching the metal, stroking it, put my face up against it, like ice. But after a while, I swear I could hear that dead car dream. It was dreaming.

Wendy: An ambulance would be white.

Baal: All that scrap iron, weeping rust. That ugly trash, which could probably lay in a heap on that freeway forever. Still, that cold steel really burns to be a gun. It's dreaming about coming to life again. Burning to be a gun. Someday, one more chance, burning to be a gun.

Max: I walked far beyond the boundaries of the city. I came to a beach at the edge of some water. It seemed the bright sun-white sky had shed the black ocean below it like a winter skin. Everything was so clear. I lay down and tried to remember what it felt like to be young. I tried to reassemble my youth in my mind, but it would not come back. It would never come back to my mind. Because, after all, that's not where it was. That's not where it was.

Historian: Max and Emily have lost their way! But, girding their loins for the task before them, they sing the Assassins' Song, their bitter creed and fervent anthem.

Max:
Who needs the young?
The revelation of the faces and their hair,
When all we have are withered traces
Of the faces we once were,
And suffocation in the dirty, fatal air.
Who needs the young bodies floating in the sun?

Max and Emily:
Who needs the young?
The celebration of the races that theyíve won.
The sadomasochistic things weíve never done.
Disgusting!
And all the places that we never will have gone.
Who needs the young bodies floating in the sun?
Who needs the young?

Max:
My eyes just arenít what they were.
My eyes just arenít what they were.
My eyes just arenít what they were.
Is there anyone left who can see?
Blind him!

Emily:
My lips just arenít what they were.
My lips just arenít what they were.
My lips just arenít what they were.
Is there anyone left who can kiss?
Spit on him!

Max:
My legs just arenít what they were.
My legs just arenít what they were.
My legs just arenít what they were.
Is there anyone left who can dance?
Cripple him!

My mind just isnít what it was.

Emily:
My mind just isnít what it was.

Both:
My mind just isnít what it was.

Max:
Is there anyone left who can dream?

Emily:
Wake him!

My voice just isnít what it was.
My voice just isnít what it was.
My voice just isnít what it was.
Is there anyone left who can sing?
Silence him!

Max:
My sex just isnít what it was.

Emily:
My sex just isnít what it was.

Both:
My sex just isnít what it was.
Is there anyone left who can fuck?
Screw him!

[instrumental]

Both:
Who needs the young?
The perfect star of flesh that never has to cry.
Who needs the filthy moaning passed from thigh to thigh?
Who needs the self-appointed prophets
Waving banners in the blood-shot sky?
Who needs the young when weíre spending the rest of our wonderful lives
learning to die?

Historian: Calling out! Max and Emily make no progress as they face the possibility of ignominious failure. Is there nothing that will lure Baal and his pack into Obsidian where punishment awaits? Max tries a special tactic. Ladies and gentlemen, we meet Dr. Hook. He is a noted psychiatrist, coming in the name of reason.

Phase VII: The Manipulation.

Max: I find, my friends, that these kids are really fascinating people to meet and mingle with. I share their concern, their confusion, their hopes and disappointments. I think these young folks ... no, let me change that. These young adults truly do want to build a better world, find a better way to live in their own peculiarly naive, roundabout, sometimes misguided but basically idealistic way. I find contact with their fresh young minds embracing, invigorating. After all, we can recognize this phase in growing up. We were kids once, weren't we? And though their styles and mannerisms and customs may have changed a great deal in the interim, underneath it all, boys and girls growing up have always been pretty much the same, haven't they? And I have a fairly strong feeling inside that they'll continue to be.

There's nothing here we can't manage. Let's try to communicate. At the beginning, at the point of 'X' where it starts. And I, as a trained and experienced doctor, have never had any trouble in the least in that area. After all, we have ways of making people communicate, don't we?

Nothing, Baal, nothing at all. All I want--all we want--all any of us want--is a little peace of mind.

Baal: Who's mind?

Max: Yours, Baal, just a little piece.

Baal: Which piece?

Max: Only the piece that threatens us.

Baal: Is that all?

Max: You see, I find that you're basically unable to cope with human beings on a mature, civilized level. For example, your relationship with young girls, such as the one we saw a bit earlier; that dreadful initiation. You couldn't get through to her on a personal basis, so you protected yourself behind sadistic games and rituals. They envelope you like ... like...

Baal: Like a womb?

Max: No, not exactly. More like a womb. You built a barrier between you so you wouldn't have to make real contact with a girl as a person equal to yourself. We could deal with it easily in treatment.

Baal: But I'm so happy just like I am.

Max: We first have to get you to redefine your distorted outlook on people. To begin with, a girl is a young woman, and a woman is more than a piece of merchandise to be evaluated in the pain. More than a prop in narcissistic ceremonies, more than a stanza in a poem to be memorized.

What is a woman, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked that. A woman is a proud, passionate, boiling river about to burst its banks.

Baal: What time do the banks open?

Max: We danced to Guy Lombardo after the last war and we'll dance to Guy Lombardo after the next war! It's what clearly separates man from the animals. You can't withdraw from reality! Sooner or later you have to negotiate with it.

Baal: Max, show me your numbers.

Max: Don't look at me. Stop! I could buy you.

Baal: Show me your numbers.

Max: I could buy you, do you hear? I could buy you.

Baal: Show me your numbers! Show me your numbers!

 

Max: [breaking into a bad German accent] All right! There. Look! A feast for the eyes. You knew my secret. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6. My precious souvenir. Auschwitz, [three other death-camp names]. Four years. Four years! Auschwitz, [three other death-camp names]. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6! Auschwitz, [three other death-camp names].

Baal: You sound like a cheerleader.

Max: You wanted to see! All right, look! See how they stare right at you. Sometimes at night, I can feel them crawling up and down my arms, biting like they're insects. There. My hideous memories forever engraved on my wrists.

Baal: Well, I really see no need to be so melodramatic.

Max: [screams]

Baal: Back, you bloodsucker!
What, this? I found it down on the freeway. There were a lot of them. Maybe they were used in a movie. Maybe not. That's official because it wasn't saved.

Max: What are you doing with that wretched thing?

Baal: Playing with it. I dunno', I like the way it looks, and the shape, the way it looks and feels.

Max: And what it stands for, I saw too.

Baal: I could care less. I've heard rumors of course. But it doesn't matter. Anyway. It's just a piece of junk. Just a pretty toy, someone else's toy, way before my time. Somebody else's children. Somebody else. It's been used.

Max: You disgust me. There is more to that subject than the whinings of a self-indulgent adolescent. There is more to that subject than the droolings of a spoiled artist! There is more to your fantasies than your toys. There is more!

Baal: There is always more!

Max: There is also truth! My truth. Here. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6. You'll never know such horror. Your dreams are petty compared to this. This was really on a big scale. I'd like to give you, just once, a fraction of the pain that I was given. You should be tested as I was.

Baal: You want to send all your children to camp?

Max: It would do you good! The beauty of total and complete control of life. Everything was so clear. And I understood it all perfectly! For the first time in my life, I felt the great sense of form. Ah, there was a grand design, and I was a part of it.

Baal: Max.

Max: The camps were the best thing that ever happened to me! Beyond any doubt, I proved myself.

Baal: I have nothing to prove to you!

Max: You have everything in the world to prove! I've earned everything I have! This city belongs to me, I am the city. I am Obsidian and I am proud of it. Once, I was trapped like an animal, but now I know I'm trapped like a man, and now I could buy you.

Baal: Fuck off.

Max: Four years in death camps, is that worth nothing to you?

Baal: Fuck the Jews.

Max: What?

Baal: Fuck all the old races, I wish they'd just die away! They've been around too long.

Max: And there'll be any new races to take their place?

Baal: Something will turn up. Something always does.

Max: I survived!

Baal: All of you, or maybe just a piece of you? Maybe just the piece that threatens us?

Max: I have a right to control you! A right to own you! This is my right! This is my proof! Where are your numbers? Where is your proof?

Baal: Stop it!

Max: Show me your numbers! Show me your numbers!

Baal: Well, I'm sorry I built the whole thing up.

Max: [no more accent] I'm afraid I got a little ... out of hand there.

Baal: Think nothing of it. Anything else?

Max: Yes, there is something. Actually, it's what I wanted to speak to you about before, uh... Before--

Baal: --you got carried away.

Max: Exactly. Baal, do you remember these pictures? They fascinated you as a child. You must be getting bored out of your mind now. Here, look at them again. Do you remember them? Saint Sebastian, dying in the pride of his youthful glory, arrows piercing his pure and silk flesh. And see how the blood shines over his body? Like a rose garden drenched in sunlight. All the young gods whose blood must be shed. Marvel. I'm offering you a chance for a spectacular marvel. Attain the glory of Saint Sebastian! It's yours. We have the resources to deliver. All the media will be at your disposal, and dying could be an awfully great adventure.

Baal: You're forgetting one thing, Max. They all had a reason. That's the whole point. You see, there's nothing I believe in like that.

Max: True. But a mere technicality. Surely we can't worry about details like that. You may have no cause, but you can have an effect, and I'm here to offer it to you. We're no more interested in reasons than you are. It's the image that holds. That's what they remember. That's what you want. The zap, the flash, the rush. Come to Obsidian. You could have a great culmination, worthy of your finest dreams. Sooner or later, you'll never grow up.

Historian: You'll have to do it, Baal. It's the way I planned it. If you don't, I'll never come up with a really exciting finale. The people demand that of me. They know it's what I do really best, wipe things out with flare. I've got that particular gift. Although admittedly I always feel perfectly dreadful the next morning. But that too passes.

Max: Nothing to lose, and it's something new.

Historian: Go ahead, give them what they want! It's the only way.

Baal: How will it be done?

Max: How all things suddenly get over with. Unique. It'll look good.

Baal: Yes. You're right. There's nothing I'd really like to burn down out here.

Max: What does that have to do with anything?

Baal: Just thinking. Nothing I'd like to burn down out here. I've always loved the look of fire. Makes such a fine backdrop.

Max: Who said anything about fire?

Baal: I did. The colors, I love the way they always change.

Max: Now hold on a second.

Baal: There's a lot to burn down in a city!

Max: Now, I really think we should keep this whole thing simple and stark. We don't want to clutter it.

Baal: I've always wanted to be a part of a good fire! A really big fire!

Historian: A fire, I like it. It adds a little ... je ne c'est quoi.

Max: Now hold on a second! There's not gonna' be any fire in the city! There's not gonna' be--

Baal: Shut up, Max.

Historian: Yeah, shut up, Max.

Max: Really, how rude.

Baal: You get what you want, he gets what he wants, and we get ... we get what's coming to us!

Historian: That sounds perfectly lovely.

Max: But fire can get so out of control!

Baal: Right, that's the idea!

Max: I won't allow it! You can't burn down Obsidian!

Historian: Oh, don't be such a nit.

Baal: He looks a little wan.

Historian: He looks a big one if you ask me.

Baal: Fire!

Historian: [joining] Fire!

Max: You can't, it's rude!

Baal: It's the colors I love!

Max: Emily!

Historian: Ladies and gentlemen, to close the first act, Baal and his pack sing a challenge to the gods and a hymn to fire, the one element in nature that illuminates as it destroys.

Historian:
On this planet.

Historian and Baal:
On this planet.

Historian:
A child with a dream needs luck.

Historian and Baal:
A child with a dream needs luck.

Historian:
Only if someone with power can help him,
Only if someone with power can help him
Can he make all his dreams come true.

Good children.
Lost children.
Mad children!
Theyíre locked from themselves
And theyíre not in a place for anyone else.

Historian and Baal:
Why can't the God's up in heaven assemble
An army of battleships, soldiers, and mines
To lift up the good and make bad people tremble
Things might then be better for the Gods and mankind?!

Wendy, Historian, and Baal:
Why can't the God's up in heaven assemble
An army of battleships, soldiers, and mines
To lift up the good and make bad people tremble
Things might then be better for the Gods and mankind?!

Historian and Baal:
Good children.
Good children.
Theyíll not stay good for long - on this planet.
On this planet.
Their souls are empty and bodies must be fed.
No! No!
The commandments of God do not help in the face of need!

Pack:
Oh why don't the heavenly Gods find a warrior
To lead them in combat and battle at last
To slaughter the heathen the ugly the useless
To lift up the future and to banish the past?!

Oh why don't the heavenly Gods find a warrior
To lead them in combat and battle at last
To slaughter the heathen the ugly the useless
To lift up the future and to banish the past?!

Historian:
Bad children.
Mad children.
On this planet.
On this planet.
Where the old Gods turn to dust,
Where the old Gods turn to dust.
You must make yourself a new God.
You must make yourself a new God!

Historian and Baal:
You must make yourself a God.
You must make yourself a God!
And you cannot love, you must only worship,
You cannot love, you must only worship.
And you must only worship yourselves,
You must only worship yourselves
With the strength of the pack behind you,
With the strength of the pack behind you!

Historian:
And you cannot hold one man together.
You cannot hold one man together.

Historian and Baal:
You cannot hold one man together
Without tearing twelve others to bits!

Pack:
Why don't the Gods take a look at the earth again
And give honest children the world they desire
Send soldiers and tanks to lift up the holy ones
And attack all the other with cannons and fire?!

Why don't the Gods take a look at the earth again
And give honest children the world they desire
Send soldiers and tanks to lift up the holy ones
And attack all the other with cannons and fire?!

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Historian: Phase VIII: Intermission.

Wendy: This is addressed to all the people who have answered or are thinking of answering the personal ad I placed in volume 2, number 15, two weeks ago Friday. First, my apologies to the huge bartender with the voice and the light-hearted, dark-skinned advertising man. If either of you had called back, I might not be writing this retraction of my ad, even though I will soon be too busy to date much, but why didn't you call back?

But to the others, which includes the two lesbians; the under 25s and over 40s; the numerous ones who dialed my number and hung up as soon as I said hello; the 35 or 40 of you who made dates with me and never showed up, including the one that complained his penis was so large that he couldn't get it into anybody; the wife-seekers, the already married; that one that was so one-sided that he could think nothing of sex, then had the gall to ask me if his nationality was the reason why I wouldn't sleep with him; the two who couldn't raise their cocks when I was agreeable, and the many who could and did when I was not; the pleasant young foreigner who ended up being the private property of his gigantic girlfriend; the ones who were so grotesque in their appearance that I couldn't possibly consider a relationship with them, especially sexual; the jerk-off artists and the 69ers (the latter category which I specifically said I didn't want!); and the ones that wanted hand jobs, the ones who wanted to be spanked, the ones that could only boast about the size of their bank rolls and/or their penises (and this definitely includes the teacher who said all the girls want my cock!); the businessman who had an adjective for every letter of his last name ('r' is for rich); the ones, and there were many, who said "my name is so and so, when can we get together and fuck?"; the fag who wanted me to support him; the diminutive actor and the other short ones; the racists, including the one at whose home I left me right sweater (and I'd rather cut off my right thumb than go back for it!); the drunks, junkies, and pillheads, the multitudes of liars, and especially the nice ones who never called back. To all of you, I say just forget my phone number! I don't need all the hassles! I'll be started school next month and I just don't want to be bothered.

Don't call my ad, any of you!

Sincerely, the underweight platinum blonde.

Historian: Phase X: Baal's Delirium and Visions of Neverland.

Baal: They asked me where the earthquake would begin. I offered to let them feel my pulse. They asked me what I was doing out there. On the edge. They asked me what I was doing out there on the edge. Balancing myself, I told them. Balancing myself.

Historian: Half the world is insane, the other half is scared, and who knows which came first or which will finish last?

Baal: The entire city is burning. We see the flames like the inside of a mad jukebox, lighting and striking itself. Lost boys stalk the streets with jungle markings on their chest. Barbarians prowl in the shadows, their heads dropping in rows. Motorcycles reproduce in nocturnal alleys, groaning in greasy pleasure. And they've blown up the YWCA like a giant balloon, and sent it out to sea, full of screaming, lovely, lonely girls. All revved up with no place to go.

I once killed a boy with a Fender guitar. I don't remember if it was a Stratocaster or a Telecaster, but I do remember that it wasn't at all easy. It required the perfect combination of the precise power chords and the correct angle from which to strike. The guitar bled for about a week afterwards, but it rung out beautifully, and I was able to play notes that I had never even heard before.

Wendy: I'm gonna' hit the highway like a battering ram on a silver black Phantom bike. When the engine is hot and the metal is hungry and we're all about to see the light.

Baal: And I'm dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun. Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike. And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.

Historian: Escape from where?

Baal: I don't know.

Historian: Escape to where?

Baal: I don't know!

Historian: Does it matter? Does it matter.

Baal: Escape. [singing] But I can't stop thinking of you. [speaking] Thinking of who? I can't remember. I can't ever need to remember who it is I can't stop thinking about. [singing] And I never see the sudden curve 'till it's way too late.
[speaking]
Voyager now,
Surveyor of ruins,
Beautiful mutants,
Voluptuous acrobats,
Psychotic magicians,
Mescaline cowboys,
Renegade angels,
Amphetamine prophets,
Satanic lords,
Celestial scavengers,
Anarchist bike boys,
Glittering gods and ravaging saviors.

Baal and Wendy:
Unholy acolytes,
Queens of the night,
Rock and roll Aryans,
Alchemical freaks.

Voyager now,
Surveyor of ruins.
Off to a million midnights.
Black, black voyager.
Off to a million tomorrows.
Black and black.
Seek and find the unchanged children.
Send them back.
Send them back.

Historian: America was not discovered by Columbus. America is still a secret land, as yet undiscovered by anyone. And this land, which has been trampled, dumped on, stepped on, torn apart, blasted out, weeping up, widdled down, dragged over, hauled under, punched in, and throttled; forbidden, divided, deluded, twisted, distorted and perverted. Plundered, pillaged, banished, bought, sold, resold, bought again, and sold again through one century after another, conscious and unconscious. This land will never die and never surrender. This Neverland will always be here, and will always be clutched desperately by somebody, like a crucifix in the hand of a dead man.

The Pack: Seek and find the unchanged children. Send them back. Send them back.

Historian: Reality is infected. It has been cut too much. Too many amputations and impurities, abscessed, indefinitely gangrenous. Reality is in agony. It should be put out of its misery. Is there nobody left with the grace to try euthanasia?

Phase XI: The Annihilation!

[instrumental]

Historian: Lower. We can barely get over the bodies. It's so much warmer than you'd expect. Everyone is satisfied, or at least satiated.

Baal: Sir, why did we do this?

Historian: I don't know.

Baal: What was the whole point of it all?

Historian: I've forgotten. I remember the reasons for a lot of the others, but ... not this one. I'm sure it did have a point, once, when the whole thing first came to me. Anyway, it was your idea to go ahead. You were the one who wanted to do it in the first place, I only made suggestions, recommendations.

Baal: I'm not complaining.

Historian: I understand.

Baal: You really can't help me, can you?

Historian: I'm sorry.

Baal: I forgive you. I never really did see Neverland, did I?

Historian: I can't forgive you. I can't forgive anyone, that's why I've lived so long.

Baal: You don't understand. You don't have to forgive me.

Historian: I beg your pardon?

Baal: I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry.

Historian: You'll catch your death of cold kneeling there like that.

Baal: I didn't know blood was this sweet.

Historian: Ketchup or blood? Ketchup or blood, and what's the difference? It's all madness, anyway. And in madness, as well as in dreams, it's not how far out you go, or what you see out there. It's what you bring back. Give them time.

Baal: Sir?

Historian: Yes?

Baal: Good night.

Historian: Give them time.

Phase XII: Baal and Wendy are Old. The regeneration.

Wendy: Max, listen. It's Wendy in her room. Crying, she's crying.

Baal: Yes, I hear it.

Wendy: We should go to her. She's all we have. Something's wrong.

Baal: Yes, I know that.

Wendy: We should go to her. Listen, there's somebody there.

Baal: Yes, I hear.

Wendy: There's somebody with her now, they got in, they got past the barricade.

Baal: Yes, I know that.

Wendy: It's him, isn't it? It's him, he's finally come; he's finally here.

Baal: Well, we've expected it, haven't we? We knew he'd come someday.

Wendy: So soon. So much sooner than we thought.

Young Baal: Baal. My name is Baal. Listen. Listen to it. The deep end. Down in the deep end. Lost boys are waiting. You know you've got to follow. You know you've got to go along.

Wendy: She's leaving!

Young Baal: Sooner or later, you'll never grow up.

Wendy: They're getting away now!

Young Baal: Neverland.

Baal: It's all right. It'll all be the same. Nothing really ever changes. Or can it? The sea is watching the sky, the sky is watching the sea, nothing will ever happen.

Wendy: Nothing will ever happen.

Baal: It's all right.

Wendy: If only--

Baal: Shh!

Wendy: If only--

Baal: Quiet! They'll be back eventually. Just like all the others. Give them time.

Wendy: Oh, I'm so cold, Max. Are you there?

Baal: Always, Emily. Always.

Historian: Ladies and gentlemen, while we still have time, if we still have time, please, let's make our cemeteries safe for our children. Good night.

Click Here For Part One Of Neverland


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